4 B-List X-Men Whose Powers Have Really Stupid Implications
The first comic I ever bought was part of an X-Men crossover back in the day called "X-Cutioner's Song" because if it don't have an X in it, then who gives a shit? I've been reading X-titles since sometime in the 90s and man, are there a lot of them. Over the years, the original Uncanny X-Men comic has spawned X-Men, X-Men: Gold, X-Men: Blue, X-Factor, X-Force, Generation X, Excalibur, X-Man, X-Men 2099, XMxexnx, and maybe 100 or so others. And sprinkled throughout those titles are a buttload of mutants who, to put it simply, aren't exactly Wolverine. Some of these characters were clearly written at 4 a.m. before a 9 a.m. deadline after a wicked Robitussin bender, and their powers really show it.
Husk is the sister of a different X-Man you've never heard of and is gifted with the awesome power of gross. To put a slightly finer point on it, the mutant Husk is able to shed her skin like a snake and reveal a new body beneath that could be made of stone or steel or whatever seems like the sort of thing a superhero could use at the moment. And stone or steel superheroes have a long, proud tradition. Just look at classics like The Thing and Colossus. Then look back at Husk who, unlike them, leaves a gross, sloppy mess of herself on the ground every time she uses her power.
You can ignore the caloric content needed to constantly make an actual lady-suit of your flesh and instead just focus on the fact that it exists at all. Every time she uses her power, she must be leaving several pounds of loose skin on the ground. And since she wears a costume, she either needs to drop trou to fully extricate herself, or she's picking pieces like errant scabs and tossing them about.
Husk also does the process in reverse, so say she makes herself into a ham hero, then the fight against low cholesterol is done and she wants to turn back into a woman, she drops her ham husk on the ground, too. And in this single, fictional scenario I just made up, this is awesome because then everyone gets to have ham. But on the other hand, since we're just making shit up now, she could have just as easily turned herself into an olive and then leave an olive husk and who the fuck wants that? Now you have a The Silence Of The Lambs woman-skin suit laying around, plus like 5'6" of olive, too? No thanks.
Marrow has a pretty long history with the X-Men and has bounced from villain to hero over the years because every character's story arc does that at some point in time. And why not? Her mutant power is bone spurs. She has a lot of jagged, pointy bits and she can break them off and throw them at people, or stab your shit when you're busy making a sandwich, or whatever you want to do with a jagged bone you broke off your own shoulder, really. Use your imagination.
It's half creepy and half cool, I suppose, to suggest that you can grow your own weapons at the cost of what must be a crazy, calcium-rich diet, but never mind all that. Just take a look at poor, pointy Marrow and, keeping her in mind, ponder my cat.
I have this cat that sucks at not ruining things. She's all up in my shit all the time. You know when cats get on you, and they start kneading you like your guts are a ball of dough and she's super intent on making pizza tonight? Does that all the time, and the bigger problem is she tears the shit out of my shirts (and blankets, and the sofa) because she sticks to them. And then she'll have this oafish look on her face as she vainly tries to pull her paw away and that one claw is stuck and, in a cat's head, that just means pull harder until it hurts more. It's a sad display at the best of times, and happens pretty much within 20 minutes of her getting her nails trimmed. Now look back at Marrow.
How is Marrow ever not sticking to your sofa? A sweater on a cold day? How is she not getting stuck randomly in door jambs and constantly ruining her own sheets and mattress? Every time she runs into battles, she's going to have stray hairs and bits of fabric flapping like flaccid, lame flags in the breeze. She's basically the thistle of the Marvel universe.
Strong Guy looks like a giant baby and I have no idea why. Of equal but unrelated note is what makes Strong Guy such a strong guy (hint: It's not just his prowess at coming up with nicknames). Strong Guy has the ability to absorb and redirect kinetic energy. So if you punch him, he's going to not feel it so much as he's gonna take your punch energy and double punch your ass back with it. Sounds almost cool when I intentionally set up my joke by cherry picking points.
The problem with Strong Guy's power is that he MUST redirect the energy. In fact, according to the arbitrary rules of comicdom, he has about 90 seconds to redirect that energy or else it literally disfigures his body. Now, in a fight, no big deal. You kick him, he boots you across a field. But that's not the only time your body is subject to being hit by kinetic energies.
For instance, say Strong Guy eats a bunch of slightly expired chili plus a whole hell of a lot of cheese and bran muffins. The resulting shit brick that is going to try to work its way out has to exert force against Strong Guy's back door which means that he's probably, literally, going to have to shoot that turd out of his ass. His mutant power is going to force his ass to expel a deuce projectile with some remarkable power. This guy can probably never not destroy a toilet unless it's one of those stainless steel ones, and that's a hell of a burden to be saddled with.
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Motherfucker, imagine the balls on this kid. You're not going to notice his balls, because he has a long neck, hence the clever moniker, but Longneck must have titan balls. Longneck's balls must be the kind of balls that cause the keys in your pocket to jostle ever so slightly when he walks past. Their incredible mass is such a force to be reckoned with that, like a small moon or burgeoning black hole, they actually have an effect on less massive items in their vicinity. I say this only because what kind of fucking sociopathic beast, devoid of all self-awareness, would dare claim to be an X-Man, a goddamn superhero in a universe where aliens and beings older than time who are capable of ripping whole worlds in half, sometimes with their bare hands, when his power is having a long neck?
What the fuck does the word "power" even mean when your power is having a long neck? You know what my power is? I ate a cheese sandwich earlier. My cat has a power, too: She's not in Denver. You can't just have a verb in a sentence near some kind of a noun and say that's a power. Has long neck? Has long neck? Jesus Christ, big shooter, you don't have a power, you have a problem sitting in compact cars.
Longneck's would-be power is actually the most damaging of all the powers I've been able to discover in terms of what it implies about the very idea of a universe in which superheroes exist. Sure, the Hulk has strength commensurate with his rage, and if his rage is boundless, he technically has limitless power and could destroy all things in creation based on that logic, and that's fucked up. Longneck has a goddamn long neck. Do you see the problem here? It's his power. He's a mutation. He has the mutant X-gene that manifested itself by making him a nuisance if he's in front of you at the movies. What the hell isn't a power if that's a power? If you fart in a wind storm and somehow the smell seems to not go away, you're a mutant now. You're the newest X-Man Waft, whose ass blasts linger like unwanted houseguests after a party. Can you stop peeing without using your hand to pinch it off? Welcome to the team, Hydrant. Go get your uniform from Beast.
If everything is a power then it cheapens the very idea of powers at all. And sure, Longneck did nothing in the comics, at all, ever, but he was still an X-Man. He got to be there. He's the ultimate participation award, and that just sucks so hard.
Ian's mutant power is being awesome at Twitter. Go see.
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